In a March, 2012 article by The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg we have this tidbit:
In the most extensive interview he has given about the looming Iran crisis, Obama told me earlier this week that both Iran and Israel should take seriously the possibility of American action against Iran's nuclear facilities. "I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don't bluff." He went on, "I also don't, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But I think both the Iranian and the Israeli governments recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say."Well, as president of the United States, Obama clearly does bluff. He did bluff, Iran called his bluff, and now the chips are flowing to the other side of the table. Of course, I knew that he was bluffing as soon as he denied it. As a long-time poker player it is obvious that when someone sitting across from you claims that they do not bluff, that they are bluffing. No player who makes such a statement is taken seriously and whatever else Barack Obama may be, he is certainly a player.
Basically what the Iran deal comes down to is that in exchange for a great financial windfall, due to the lifting of sanctions, the Iranians get to continue enriching uranium as they come closer and closer to that much coveted nuclear arsenal. You cannot really blame Iran. They look to their right and what do they see? US troops in Iraq. They look to their left and what do that see? An Afghanistan that until quite recently was occupied by US forces. So naturally they want the bomb as a deterrence. They may want it for other reasons, but there is no question that they also want it for deterrence and who can blame them? If I were the Ayatollah Khamenei I would want nuclear weaponry, as well.
But just because Iran has very good reason for wanting a nuclear arsenal it does not mean that the United States, and the west, more generally, is obligated to allow it to happen. Nonetheless, that is precisely what we are seeing. The Obama administration never had any real intention of preventing a Sharia Bomb, because the Obama administration is weak. The United States, under this administration, is in retreat throughout the world and ultimately has not the fortitude or the will to prevent Tehran from going nuclear.
Does this mean that when Iran attains its nuclear arsenal they will automatically use it against Israel and / or the west? I sincerely doubt it. Despite their crazed End of Days eschatological religious view, the ayatollahs are neither stupid nor entirely irrational. They don't want to see Tehran turned into a parking lot any more than we would like to see either Washington D.C. or Jerusalem obliterated. But that's not really the point. An Iranian bomb will mean a power shift throughout the Middle East with Iran becoming the regional hegemon, the continued ascension of political Islam, and an arms race that will see both Egypt and Saudi Arabia scrambling to come up with nuclear weapons of their own.
Meanwhile, Iran will gain the power to harass Israel to its Turkish Delight and Israel's ability to respond will be severely curtailed under an Iranian nuclear umbrella.
At this point the only real question is not if Iran will get the bomb, but when?
Because Obama bluffed and he did it badly.